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Abortion, NO! But Mercury Poisoning of a Fetus is OK?

by: ProgressiveInTexas

Sat Aug 18, 2012 at 01:42 PM CDT


Donna Campbell is on the stump saying all the ‘right’ things; using all the ‘right’ talking points. If you listen to Donna, she talks a good game to Pro-Life Christians. The problem lies with her stance on other matters that she and her corporate backers refuse to acknowledge as right to life issues.

During pregnancy, the mother and fetus need health care. New born infants need neo-natal care. Children need pediatric care. One would presume the moral imperative for a professed Christian would be affordable care for our Children. But apparently it is not for Doctor Donna. She wants to slash care for millions of Texas infants and their mothers. Why? Is it because the deep pocket donors to her Astroturf campaign refuse to render their fair share unto Washington?

Of course, they claim a moral objection to tax money being spent on medically accurate sex education, pre-conception birth control and of, course, abortions. Donna and her cronies are willing to deny medical care to infants all the while preaching: Abortion, NO!

In virtually the same breath, she vilifies the EPA’s endeavor to reduce environmental Mercury levels as “arbitrary rules and regulations hindering business and industry” (From Dr. Donna Campbell Facebook page; if it has not been scrubbed). Dr. Campbell, if you believe these rules to be arbitrary, what safe levels you would establish? If you believe in-utero exposure to increasing levels of Mercury is not detrimental to embryonic development, please share your research. What is the safe level of Mercury for a second trimester fetus? Please tell us. You are quick to dismiss solutions proposed by others, but slow on offering anything in their stead.

Doctor Campbell, why are you willing to subject unborn children to a greater risk of Mercury poisoning?

Every voter in Texas Senate District 25 deserves an answer to this question before they vote. They deserve an honest answer. After all, honesty is on God’s top-ten list.

My guess: Thirty pieces of silver means more to Donna Campbell than protecting God’s creation.


Supplemental reading: Prenatal Exposure to Mercury From a Maternal Diet High in Seafood Can Irreversibly Impair Certain Brain Functions in Children, Harvard School of Public Health

An image of the Facebook thread is available at my blog (modified 8/20/12)

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Sierra Club Sues TXU-Luminant For "Thousands Of Violations Of The Clean Air Act"

by: Adam Schwitters

Tue May 01, 2012 at 03:18 PM CDT

The Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) and the Sierra Club filed suit against Energy Future Holdings Corp, and its subsidiary, Luminant (formerly TXU) in Federal Court in Waco earlier today.  The lawsuit targets excessive emissions of particulate matter, or soot, emanating from from Luminant’s Big Brown coal-fired power plant in Fairfield, Texas, northeast of Waco.  Soot contains mercury and other toxic metals, and can contribute to asthma, heart disease, respiratory illness, and contributes to “thousands of premature deaths every year.”  

Luminant is no stranger to controversy.  It was purchased in the nation’s largest ever leveraged buyout in 2006, and has proceeded to lose money ever since.  It has already been sued, at least, once over excessive emissions at another plant, Martin Lake, in 2010.  Three of Luminant’s North Texas coal plants (Big Brown, Martin Lake, and Monticello) are ranked among the nation's top ten worst polluting industrial facilities.  Those three plants alone account for 25% of all industrial pollution in Texas and 46% of all pollution related to power generation in the state (there are over 125 large power plants in Texas according to the EPA)

Big Brown “ranks among the top polluting coal fired power plants across the country dumping harmful emissions upon rural people, our land, and our drinking water. With state regulators unwilling to address the pollution problems created by Big Brown, a citizen suit is necessary to expose, prevent, and protect those of us, in this rural area of Texas, who must live with the outdated and dirty operations going on at the Big Brown power plant," said Vicky Prater, with COPPS for Clean Air, and a resident of nearby Navarro County.

Dr. Neil Caiman, Air Program Director of the Lonestar Chapter of the Sierra Club had this to say about the lawsuit:

 Luminant self-monitors its plants, and according to the company's own data, the Big Brown plant has violated the requirements of its own air permit thousands of times.  What's troubling is that Luminant's Big Brown plant has very lenient pollution standards compared to other power plants, and the plant is still pumping out more than three times the legal limit. That impacts the health and wellbeing of Texans.  For far too long Luminant has failed to clean up its harmful pollution and chosen not to install pollution controls, even as many other power plant operators were cleaning up their plants.  Those days are over and in order to bring Big Brown into compliance, Luminant must decide if it will clean up the power plant or retire it.
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Rick Perry's Energy Plan: Wheeze, Baby Wheeze

by: Texas Sierra Club

Sat Oct 15, 2011 at 11:34 AM CDT

(After last night's debate, it's important to remember the human and health costs of Rick Perry's energy and environmental policies.   - promoted by Katherine Haenschen)

Rick Perry just unveiled his energy plan for America. The plan, if implemented, will poison our air and water with toxic pollutants like soot, smog, arsenic, cadmium, dioxin, lead, and formaldehyde. It would also undercut safeguards from mercury, which is a neurotoxin and is known to harm developing fetuses.

Photobucket"Rick Perry's energy plan reads like a roadmap for making America's kids sick," said Sierra Club executive director Michael Brune. "Under this plan, we can expect to see much higher rates of asthma among children, and risk to pregnant women from mercury exposure. Republicans like Perry are putting polluters' profits first and our kids' health last. The Republican mantra should be 'wheeze, baby, wheeze."

Perry's plan calls for scaling back basic EPA safeguards that protect our clean air and water. It would simultaneously expand development of dirty energy like coal, oil, and natural gas amounting to a one-two punch to Americans' health.

"American families have enough to worry about," Brune said. "They don't need to spend more time taking their kids to the doctor or more money on hospital bills. The only people who stand to profit from this plan are overpaid oil, coal and natural gas CEOs."

"Dismantling the EPA and assuming that states are properly watching over natural gas drilling is dangerous and puts the health of our families and communities at risk."

Perry's plan would also undercut the expansion of jobs in industries like solar-the fastest-growing industry in the energy sector.

"There's a solution to the current epidemic of pollution-related illness that will also create good, lasting local jobs, and secure America's energy independence," said Brune. "It's clean energy. America's clean energy industry is strong and thriving, even in this down economy. Rick Perry's plan would stifle that growth and return our country to a dirty, antiquated energy system. Under his plan, we'll see asthma rates among American kids soar, while countries like China surpass us in reaping the benefits from clean energy like solar and wind."

In fact, America is predicted to become the world's leader in solar energy by 2014, and in 2010, the U.S. was a net exporter of solar by $2 billion.  Solar energy creates seven times more jobs than coal, nuclear and natural gas.

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Challenging the Second Wave of the Texas Coal Rush

by: Texas Sierra Club

Mon Nov 23, 2009 at 01:03 PM CST

( - promoted by Phillip Martin)

 Today’s the last day to formally ask the EPA to enforce the Clean Air Act in Texas.   


Sierra Club our environmental partners, bicyclists, medical communities, and interfaith partners delivered comments last week from more than 2,000 Texans to officials at the Region 6 headquarters of



the EPA in Dallas and we want them to hear from even more of us today!   Here’s the story on KERA public radio in Dallas.   

What’s all the fuss about?  More and more Texans are realizing that Texas is in the problematic position of having more proposed coal plants than any other state in the nation.  With 12 in various stages of construction or permitting challenges, Michigan, second worst with 4 planned coal plants, leaves Texas in the really big dust 

Texans are learning that coal plants make people sick.   Medical practitioners have become increasingly involved in opposing Texas coal plants – particularly in Corpus Christi, the site of the proposed Las Brisas pet coke plant;  in Austin, which could become the first municipal utility in the state to reject coal; and in Dallas, which is downwind of the majority of Texas existing coal plants and has been in non-attainment of federal air quality standards. At the EPA last week, Dallas-based pediatrician, Dr. Karen Lewis with Physicians for Social Responsibility said, “Coal plants in Texas emit huge volumes of heavy duty respiratory toxins and we're seeing skyrocketing rates of asthma and respiratory illness in children.” Dr. Lewis addressed mercury pollution which leads to developmental and neurological disorders in children, “Doctors recommend that pregnant women not eat large fish and limit their intake of smaller fish, but can we talk about where the mercury in such otherwise healthy food as fish comes from?  The bottom line is that we shouldn’t be building more coal plants in Texas.”   

There are other reasons to fight coal plants.   Coal plants cost too much.   And, costs are rising as new, more protective clean air standards become law.   The new standards will place many additional regions of Texas in ‘non-attainment’ status jeopardizing federal funds and they will require coal plants to install costly new scrubbers.   Texans don’t need to foot this bill when we live in a state with so much clean energy know-how and wind and solar resource. 

Coal plants also cause global warming and use enormous amounts of water.  This is a serious problem in Texas where we experience extreme drought. 

Fortunately, more people are becoming actively involved.  People are hearing about the second wave of the Texas coal rush in part thanks to Forrest Wilder’s Texas Observer article ‘Coal Star State’ and also thanks to hundreds of Sierrans, our environmental partners and bicycling community friends who came out to Roll Beyond Coal at rallies, bike rides, and hikes in five Texas cities on October 31. Sierra Club’s long time chemist, former state regulator, and clean air warrior, Neil Carman believes that the recently appointed new EPAAustin Texas Roll Beyond Coal event Oct 31 Administrator at Region VI in Dallas can make a difference in the coal plant fight. 

We got a hopeful sign last week when a company decided that it won’t import PCBs and burn them in Port Arthur.  He thinks the new EPA can also intervene on TCEQ’s habit of permitting big coal polluters. 

Sierra Club will continue challenging coal plants in Texas and we need your help!  Let the EPA know today that you want them to block Texas coal plants and take a serious look at the 17 existing coal plants. 


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